What are contact lenses?
Contact lenses are a great alternative to prescription glasses. The best thing about contact lenses are that they can be made to suit the shape, size and curvature of your eye. Most people who wear contact lenses experience no discomfort and almost forget they’re wearing them.
Types of contact lenses
There is a wide variety of contact lenses available and the lenses that you choose will depend on your individual requirements. Contact lenses can be either hard or soft depending on your specific eye condition or vision problem. Some types of contact lenses:
Daily disposable: used as needed and disposed after every use. This is the healthiest option for your eye.
Frequent replacement: these lenses are replaced every fortnight or every month and require cleaning after every use. Extended wear lenses: can be worn overnight, some up to 29 consecutive nights.
Conventional lenses: are custom made. They are kept for one to two years depending on the type of lens and replaced every year, so cleaning and hygiene is very important.
Not all types of lenses are suitable for everyone and it is important to make sure you are wearing the correct type of contact lenses for your specific needs. At Health Partners Optical, your optometrist will perform an eye examination and contact lens fitting to determine the best type of contact lens for you.
When would I need to wear contact lenses?
Your Health Partners Optometrist may recommend that you wear contact lenses if you require visual correction for:
Hyperopia (long-sightedness): difficulty seeing or focussing on objects up close
Myopia (short-sightedness): difficulty seeing or focussing on objects at a distance
Astigmatism: blurred or distorted vision up close or far away
Presbyopia: age related difficulty seeing or focussing on objects up close
Contact lenses are a great option to meet your vision needs. Most people choose to have both contact lenses and glasses, using their contact lenses mainly for sporting and outdoor activities.
Benefits of contact lenses
There are a number of benefits to wearing contact lenses. These benefits will vary depending on your vision problems, eye condition and lifestyle. Contact lenses can provide you with the following benefits:
- Full unobstructed field of vision
- Less visual distortion than prescription glasses
- Objects viewed are at their actual size and position
- Enable you to move your eyes, head or body and retain a clear vision —ideal for sport and other activities
- Remain in your eyes and cannot fall or be knocked off as prescription glasses can
Adjust to external conditions:
- Do not fog up with sweat, steam or extreme heat
- Are not affected by rain
- Can be worn on a full or part-time basis as required or in conjunction with your prescription glasses
- Provide a different look to prescription glasses
Maintaining and replacing your contact lenses
As there are different types of contact lenses available, the way in which you care for them and the need for replacement will vary.
Daily disposable lenses are the easiest in terms of maintenance as you simply throw them away after a single use.
Extended wear lenses are also low maintenance as you can leave them in your eyes for a number of days before any cleaning is required.
Some lenses need to be cleaned after every use. Cleaning your contact lenses is a relatively simple task and necessary to kill any micro-organisms that cause infection.
Replacing your contact lenses as directed is also important to reduce the risk of infection. How often you replace your contact lenses will depend on the type of lenses you use.